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Seattle Finalist and Runners Up Announced for the Musical Theater Songwriting Challenge

Teen Voices from the NEA Musical Theater Songwriting Challenge featured at Northwest Folklife Festival
Saturday, May 28 from 4-4:30 p.m.

The Seattle Office of Arts & Culture and The 5th Avenue Theatre joins the National Endowment for the Arts and Playbill Inc. with additional support from Disney Theatrical Group, in announcing a King County high school student as the finalist in the Musical Theater Songwriting Challenge for High School Students. The winning finalist is Angel Rodriquez, 17, from Puget Sound Adventist Academy. The Runners Up are Victoria Alkin from Tesla STEM High School and Chloe Copoloff from Bellevue High School. Samantha Mueller from Eastlake High School received an honorable mention.

Music from the finalist and runners up will be performed in Teen Voices from the NEA Musical Theater Songwriting Challenge at this year’s Northwest Folklife Festival on Saturday, May 28 from 4 -4:30 p.m.

This summer, Angel Rodriguez and the finalists from Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN and Dallas County, TX will travel to New York City where they will take part in an intensive songwriting workshop with professional musicians, singers, songwriters, and producers to learn more about songwriting and sharpen their songwriting skills. At the end of the workshop, their original song will be performed by professional musicians and singers in a final competition with judges from the music and musical theater industry.

The national winner will receive a $5,000 scholarship award, and each national runner-up will receive $2,500. Scholarships are provided by the National Music Publishers’ Association Supporting Our Next Generation of Songwriters (S.O.N.G.S.) Foundation. In addition, the national winner’s song will be published by Sony/ATV.

“We at The 5th Avenue Theatre are thrilled to partner with The Seattle Office of Arts & Culture (ARTS) and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) on the Musical Theater Songwriting Challenge for 2016,” says Bernadine C. Griffin, Managing Director of The 5th Avenue Theatre. “We are passionate about musical theater, developing new work, and providing high quality musical theater training for teens at our theater and in local high schools throughout King County. We are proud of all the students who worked so hard and submitted great, original songs to the Challenge.”

In its pilot year, the Musical Theater Songwriting Challenge for High School Students is only available to high school students in three metropolitan locales: in Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota; Dallas County, Texas; and, Seattle and King County, Washington. More information on The Musical Theater Songwriting Challenge for High School Students can be found at Follow the conversation about the Songwriting Challenge at #IWriteSongs16.

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About the Office of Arts & Culture | Seattle
The Office of Arts & Culture envisions a city driven by creativity that provides the opportunity for everyone to engage in diverse arts and cultural experiences. The Office is supported by the 16-member Seattle Arts Commission, citizen volunteers appointed by the mayor and City Council. Find out more at Follow @SeaOfficeofArts or

About The 5th Avenue Theatre
The nonprofit 5th Avenue Theatre is acclaimed as one of the nation’s leading musical theater companies and is especially renowned for its production and development of new works. Since 2001, the Seattle-based company has produced 17 new musicals. To date, nine (including the sensational hit Disney’s Aladdin) have moved on to Broadway premieres, earning a combined 15 Tony Awards, including two for Best Musical (Hairspray and Memphis). The 5th Avenue Theatre is also known for its world class, critically acclaimed productions of musicals chosen from both the contemporary canon and the Golden Age of Broadway.

About the National Endowment for the Arts

Established by Congress in 1965, the NEA is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the NEA supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the National Endowment for the Arts and the agency is celebrating this milestone with events and activities through September 2016.

About Playbill, Inc.
Since its inception in 1884, PLAYBILL has become synonymous with the legitimate theatre and is an internationally known trademark and symbol of the arts. Playbill Magazine, which can be found in theatres and classical arts venues throughout the country, proudly serves every Broadway house as well as the country’s most prestigious fine arts institutions, including Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center. In 2016 Playbill presses will roll out 3.5 million programs monthly for nearly 100 theatres in 24 cities. was established in 1994, and has since grown to become the leading source of theatre information on the web and has expanded to a suite of online offerings including Playbill Vault, Playbill EDU, Playbillder, and more. Visit for more information.